• A quarter of buyers say the online reputation of dealers is the most important factor when choosing a car
  • Over half select a dealer based on web reviews, according to CarGurus study
  • Developing online presence during lockdown can help dealers to stand out when forecourts reopen
  • Research reveals 18-34 age group trust online feedback as much as word of mouth
  • CarGurus Top Rated Dealers reveal top tips for managing online reputation

London, UK, 14th May 2020 – While the UK continues its lockdown, many dealers are working to fine tune aspects of their business to enable faster recovery as business returns. Online reputation management is one such area of opportunity, according to CarGurus, a leading UK online automotive marketplace.
A previous study by CarGurus showed that nearly 70% of car buyers will always check online reviews before contacting a dealer, underlining the importance to impress online customers during the lockdown.(1)

The same study revealed just how impactful a positive online reputation can be for attracting customers, with a quarter of survey respondents voting reputation as the number one factor when choosing their car.(1)

It’s a growing trend, too, with third-party research identifying the 18-34 age bracket as most likely to be influenced by online reviews. According to this research, 91% of this age group place as much trust on online reviews as on word of mouth.(2)

Wendy Harris, VP of European Sales at CarGurus, said: “Dealer reviews are an important part of the search experience for buyers, and likewise, a terrific opportunity for dealers to showcase their customer service and build trust with buyers online.

“At a time when there is less opportunity for dealers and consumers to interact face-to-face, we believe online reputation becomes an even more important part of a consumer’s consideration. Now is a good time to be thinking about online reputation management, which is why we’ve assembled these tips for dealers.”

Founded by TripAdvisor co-founder Langley Steinert, CarGurus combines dealer reviews with comprehensive car valuation analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive marketplace, allowing buyers to quickly and easily find great deals from the best dealers. Dealer reviews are included whether or not a dealer is a paid subscriber, and unlike some marketplace platforms, CarGurus will not remove reviews if a dealer changes its status from paid to unpaid during this COVID-19 period.

CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Top Tips for Online Reputation Management:

Asking for feedback can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but it’s a crucial step for dealers who want to build trust, boost brand awareness, and ultimately, sell more cars. Plus, reviews are nothing to fear: 88% of CarGurus customers [in the UK] leave a 4-star review or better. It’s also important not to offer incentives for reviews, instead send an email to a customer after their purchase and ask for a review.

Once you start actively encouraging customers to leave reviews, it’s crucial you also start paying attention to them. Set up email alerts, designate an employee to be your review watchdog, or do a quick Google search of your dealership from time to time.

If a customer has taken the time to leave a review for your dealership, it’s always a good idea to respond. Plus, acknowledging reviews – both good and bad – shows that you take customers’ experiences seriously. Negative reviews require more attention, but a simple, professional response shows that you care about your customers and is often enough to put future readers at ease and can help build trust with future customers.

Using reviews
Consumers feel better when they hear real-life stories from other buyers about a product or service, which makes reviews powerful marketing tools for dealers. By putting the customers’ voices into your dealership’s marketing strategy – whether that’s social media, newsletters or adverts – you’ll give a nudge to those ready-to-buy car shoppers who are still on the fence about which dealership to buy from.

While COVID-19 continues to disrupt life around the UK, CarGurus is committed to helping dealers through it all. Numerous useful resources have been compiled in one easy to access section of our dealer resource centre. Click here to visit Driving Difference.


(1) CarGurus shopper surveys with 1,000 – 2,000 respondents, 2019
(2) BrightLocal, 2019

For further information, please contact:
James Drake at CarGurus – UKPR@CarGurus.com / 0208 541 3434 / +44 07809 657178

How CarGurus Works:

CarGurus helps car shoppers search local car listings and quickly find great deals from top rated dealers. Every day, the company analyses millions of data points on hundreds of thousands of UK car listings to calculate each car’s Instant Market Value (IMV) or fair retail price. This data is used in combination with dealership ratings from other shoppers to rank and rate available cars results based on the quality of the deal: Great, Good, Fair, High or Overpriced. The site also provides transparency on how long the car has been on the forecourt and if it’s had a price drop. Consumers can contact dealers directly.

About CarGurus:

Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert (also a co-founder of TripAdvisor), CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of cars. The company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top rated dealers. CarGurus is the most visited automotive shopping site in the U.S. (source: Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total Audience, Q4 2019, U.S. (Competitive set: CarGurus.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, TrueCar.com)). CarGurus launched in the UK in 2015 and is the fastest growing auto shopping site in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019 (source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform®, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, PistonHeads.com, and Gumtree.com). In 2019, CarGurus acquired UK-based PistonHeads.com, which it operates as an independent brand. In addition to the United Kingdom and the United States, CarGurus also operates an online marketplace in Canada.

CarGurus® is a registered trademark of CarGurus, Inc. All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

To learn more about CarGurus visit www.cargurus.co.uk.

© 2020 CarGurus, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

James Drake